Relationships

Lost Love

Some people think love does not exist in the world, or worse, some people think it's as easy to find love as it is to wash your hair. If you believe either of those extremes, let me tell you, you believe a fallacy. In truth, love is difficult to find, and takes real work to hang onto. To prove this point, let me take you back in time.

The year is 2002, and a confused and troubled thirteen year old stumbles across a helping teens website. There, she finds a purpose in helping people go through the pain she felt, and still feels. There she met the people that would be a huge part of her life for years to come. There she met HIM. He was annoying, arrogant, but understanding and calm at the same time. He was charismatic, and soon got past her defences.

She fell for him hard, but did everything in her power to push him away because she was afraid of getting hurt. Yet somehow, they grew together, on the phone and online as well. They knew each other better than they knew themselves at times, but the fact still remained that they had been badly damaged by their pasts. She did everything in her power to push him away, and whenever she got too close to him, he ran for months.

This cycle continued for close to seven years, until she had a breakthrough, and realized she pushed him away all those years because she had in fact loved him since she was thirteen. Ecstatic, she tried to get in contact with him, but her attempts at communication fell on deaf ears. He finally e-mailed her, but instead of an answer to her pouring her heart out, it was an e-mail he sent a lot of people showing them a cockpit of a shuttle. Broken hearted and angry, she went up to her room to cry, and instead ended up punching a hole through her hard wood bedroom wall.

With her sprained hand hurting the next day, she came to a realization. She realized that anyone who would ignore her didn't deserve her. So with this new attitude, she severed any means of communication he could have with her in the future, and vowed to move on with her life.

When A Relationship Fails You Get "Broken Hearts"

Without a doubt, the most painful part of any relationships is having it end. Many, if not all, of us have had relationships that have ended even though we truly believed that it would work out, that we each loved each other. Being the overly thoughtful and inquisitive person I naturally am, I couldn't help but wonder about what manages to get us through that dark time that can plunge some of us into deep and severe depression. The only answer I've managed to come up with is as complex as relationships themselves.

When we begin a new girlfriend/boyfriend relationship there is an excitement, feelings of anticipation, a new beginning fills our minds, and that person we are involved with comes to mean so much to us. If it is a healthy relationship, then our self-esteem is lifted and we're made to feel beautiful, handsome, smart, and funny. We believe that they care about love and need us as much as we do them. For some, the difference that a good relationship can bring about are dramatic.

Because of the wonderful emotions that a new relationship brings and considering how attached we can become to that other person, when the relationship is called off, it can make us feel as though all the good things that the person made us feel were all lies. Lies or untruths, told because they thought it was what we wanted to hear. It is that confusing and difficult possibility that causes so much of the pain we feel. In addition, for some unknown and odd reason, too many times when a relationship is broken, we tend to go our separate ways, instead of actually keeping in contact to remain friends. The fear of rarely being able to see each other, makes the break up even more difficult.

I truly believe that all of us find the "one" that we're supposed to be with, the one that makes our lives complete and truly happy. The painful part is that most of the time, the first, second, or even third person we date is not the right one. The problem arises because when we first meet someone we don't know whether he or she is the "one" or not. They make us feel loved, cared for and special and we become attached, hoping that we've found the special "one."

So, because we're human, when we or the other person realizes that we're not made for each other and ends the relationship, our hearts are broken. Being hurt, unfortunately, is part of living is part of being human but I try to keep the attitude that says, "if we really weren't meant to be together, then I'm glad we're not. Now I have more time to focus on finding my *real* soul mate."

Losing a close friend is, without a doubt, very difficult but personally I believe that enduring a few broken hearts is worth it when, in the end, true happiness is the reward.

Religion & Relationships - How Different Are We?

At school one day, you see this guy that you really love to watch, and the more you watch him, the more you come to respect all he does. He's always kind, he's the champion of the underdog, he smiles a lot, he doesn't do drugs or a have "player" reputation - he seems like someone even your parents would approve of.

Finally, after watching him for so long, you find the courage to talk to him and the two of you really hit it off and quickly start talking about dating. There's only one little - or big? - issue that prevents you from feeling completely comfortable with dating each other.

He's not a Christian: he comes from a different religion that you know very little about.

You've always been taught to date only Christians, always assumed you've only want to date Christians, and yet this guy seems so much like you, you really feel connected to him and you don't know what to do - is it really so bad to date someone of another religion? The basic answer to this question is that you have to make the choice for yourself, however there are a few things that you might want to think about while making the decision.

The Bible tells us to have fellowship - friendship - with other Christians, so that they can help refresh us and give us strength, and the courage, and knowledge, to talk to non-Christians who need our help. However, the Bible doesn't forbid us from entering a relationship with someone from a different religion. Most religions, Christianity included, tells us not to date people from other religions; to date only other Christians. The Mormons, for example, and the Jews, also suggest that you date only people from the same religion. They tell us this because even though it may not be wrong, per say, having a serious inter-religious relationship can have it's share of problems.

For example, if you're dating someone, then I believe that you should be able to see yourself married to them. If you're married to someone, then children will probably come into the picture at some point. If you're married to someone who doesn't share your religion, then the two of you may have conflict deciding how to bring up the children; where are they going to go to church for example. If you're married to an atheist, he or she might object to having them learn about the Bible, which would no doubt make you angry seeing as you believe that having the Bible as part of life is essential. How you discipline children may also differ. If you come from different religions, what kind of rules will you set as the children become older (the age you tend to let them date, the kind of people you let them date, etc)? These may also become issues. In my book, raising a child is the single most important thing that we can ever do. It is helping shape an entire personality, beliefs, morals, values, attitudes, and life views are in my opinion, irrevocably linked to parents. Because of this, then, it's important that whomever we marry share our ideas about how to raise a family.

Not only could children eventually become an issue, but, if you date someone from a different religion, then your attitudes on how you can act toward one another, and what you can do, may be different. For example, in a lot of religions, it is not considered wrong to have premarital sex. In Christianity, though, saving sex for marriage is a lesson that we learn early on. Viewing certain kinds of movies, and going to certain types of places, aren't considered wrong in other religion, whereas we, as Christians, are told to keep our eyes and ears clean. If you're dating someone from a different religion, you may find yourself being pressured, or talked, in doing something that you never had any intention of doing before you met one another.

Yet another potential problem in dating someone from another religion might be as simple as holidays and where to spend them. For example, the Jews celebrate holidays that the Christians know absolutely nothing about. If you dated a Jew, then, it would seem to me that you'd have questions about what he or she was celebrating and why. If you couldn't understand or agree with their holiday, then a potential problem exists. Certain religions restrict the kind of clothing you can wear and how you should act around people. This could cause a real issue with modern Christians, who tend to feel perfectly comfortable wearing rather un modest clothing.

Also, if you were to begin seeing someone from a religion that differed greatly from yours, such as seeing someone Jewish, both sides of the family may have problems with it, and therefore, cause you problems. I know when I started to attend a Jewish synagogue (along with my Christian church), my sister, and the rest of my family, and my fiance, all had major problems with it and caused me a lot of grief. My fiancée and I separated, for a time, because of it. Just because you are willing to work through the obstacles doesn't mean that your families are going to necessarily sit by and smile while you see someone seriously who doesn't share your basic belief.

The last potential problem is the biggest, and most serious. Whether we do it unconsciously or not, when we meet someone from a different religion, especially one we don't particularly understand, then we are probably going to try and convince our partner to convert to our religion. I mean, can't you hear yourself or someone else saying, "If only you were Christian, there wouldn't be a problem" and pressuring each other to go to a church, or a synagogue or a mosque. This is dangerous. I do not believe that anyone, from any religion, should EVER convert to a different religion for the sake of a relationship. The only way that conversion should ever take place is if the person genuinely feels the spirit, or a major need to convert. If placed with someone, from a different religion, who we nevertheless love and care a great deal about and do not want to lose, we may be tempted to put our religion aside and to go with theirs, perhaps even thinking, "I still believe in Christianity, but I don't have to go to church". When we do this, I believe we're sacrificing a major part of ourselves, seeing as religion plays such a vital role in our lives. We should always, under any and all circumstances, stand up for what we believe; even if it means sacrificing an otherwise good relationship.

Whether we realize it or not, religion shapes who we are. It shapes what we believe to be right or wrong, it shapes our attitudes and how we act. Even agnostics, who don't believe anything, are shaped by being agnostic. If you don't have a religion, after all, then you have nothing, morally, to keep you from doing things that might be harmful to yourself and/or to other people. Because of this, when we enter a relationship with someone from a different religion, we should be aware, up front, that there are going to be obstacles we'll have to cross.

But, you might say, doesn't every relationship have obstacles? Pretty much, yes, they do. So, then, the question becomes, "are you willing and ready to work through those obstacles, and is it even possible to overcome some of the bigger obstacles brought into the mix when you differ on religion?" Well, it is possible to overcome them. I have two very good friends of mine; one is Jewish and one is Christian and they are married and neither of them have ever converted to the other's religion. Not only that, but they are so much in love it makes me ill to watch them :). So, it is possible to accomplish, and Christ did embrace those different from Him. We should never shun anyone from us just for being a non-Christian. I have learned a great deal about myself, and about the person I want to be, from non-Christians. It's just that we need to be careful to keep our own beliefs in sight and that we don't sacrifice our own beliefs for someone else, anyone else.

The biggest tool to help us decide whether or not to enter into a inter-religious relationship is, and should always be, prayer. Pray together; go to each other's religious meetings, if only just once, so you can learn about what they believe. After all, we have to know what they believe to know how different their beliefs are from ours. Talk with a religious leader and find support: talk with each other and be very honest with each other. Would you rather try and work through whatever obstacles religion brings you and take the risk of ending up not even friends, or would you rather forgo the relationship to keep a good friendship? God can help you decide, if you'll talk with Him, read His word and listen to what He has in store for your life. If He wants you with each other, then He'll let you know. If He doesn't, then remember that He knows the future and you don't, so it's best to trust His plan, for He'd never lead someone He loves (you) astray.

Ten Do's & Don'ts On A First Date.

So you've just asked or been asked out by the crush you've liked forever. But yikes! Totally nervous! What are some "Do's and Don'ts" you should know to lighten your nerves?

Do...

  • Make eye contact: It's important for the person you're on the date with to know they have your attention; whether you're talking or they are. Also, it's one way of saying, "I'm attentive and I'm interested."
  • Relax: Don't force yourself or try too hard to think of topics to converse about, or even obsess if your laugh sounds goofy. Like the clichĂ© goes, just be yourself and you will end up showing more of the fun in you and the less tense you are.
  • Compliments: Genuine; coming from what you really think, not a line that has been used a million times before. There may be a stereotype of women only getting or wanting compliments... that's wrong; compliments make everyone feel good, most especially when they are sincere. Even something as simple and non-physical as, "you speak very well", will bring a smile to their face.
  • Spontaneities: You don't have to go skydiving, but just by keeping things, "by the moment" keeps the date from going dull. Say you planned for a dinner and a movie, but after dinner you had a sudden urge to play at an arcade instead. Go for it!
Table Talk

Don't...

  • Disrespect personal space: Being really grabby or touchy feely is never a good first impression to make. Even if you aren't one, doing something like groping or even touching in an area multiple times that being told it's uncomfortable won't earn you brownie points, and most likely not a second date. Also, asking personal questions consistently after being told it's uncomfortable... that is also considered a violation of personal space.
  • Be egotistical: Talking about yourself the whole time or most of the time won't have your date drool over you, screaming for more. Try to avoid using the word "I" too much... remember, listening is a virtue. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth; you should be listening twice as much as you talk.
  • Limit your date: Keep an open mind: Even if you usually prefer guys to play sports, keep in mind there can be other parts to a guy than his machoness. Or even if she prefers jeans to mini-skirts, that doesn't mean she's any less feminine. Although there does need to be a certain amount of compatibility for a second date, that doesn't mean they can end up being a friend instead.
  • Use profanity: It's really best to avoid this, using the king's English is the way to go. Cursing excessively or even more than twice is not attractive to either sex.
  • Over mush: Romance is a great expression of affection, but more than a little on a first date can be more negative than positive on your part. First dates are suppose to be fun and carefree... if you do find you two can both be ready to step up to the next level, than do so. But on a first date, it can be uncomfortable, smothering, and pressuring to the other party to do the same.

Relationships Need New Things Every Once In A While.

Through-out my life I have met many people, and have found that I enjoyed myself the most with the people I knew I would never meet again. The first time you meet someone you seem to experience an rush of adrenalin, you feel as if you could say anything. This allows you to be laid back because you know you that will almost certainly never have to deal with the person again. Because of this you can have a certain sarcasm that has seriousness to it. It really doesn't matter what is said, it is just a good time for the brief 5 minutes or so it lasts.

The problem I see with relationships with people you will have to confront every day is that you have to worry how everything will affect them. If you ever said what you truly felt to someone you see everyday you will have to put up with the consequences. These consequences lead to discomfort in both parties, creating a great unease. Also when you are around some people too long the relationships tend to grow stale, people begin to loose intrest in oneanother and must resort to odd tactics to keep the group of friends together. These tactics include doing stipid things to get attention and bring everone together in laughter or dissapiontment. Also bringing up past things that have been done is sure sign that there is nothing new to really talk about. When you have been with people for a long time you loose things to talk about and eventually just end up standing around. Becuase people are afraid to look in other places for new friends in the fear of being rejected long term relationships can go on like this for a long time. The relationships are refreashed though when freash blood, or another person is introduced into the group of friends mixing everything up. I have found that when something new happens the relationships strengthen. But when nothing really happens the relationships fall apart.